The Magical stairs

Between yesterday and tomorrow, Interloop, by artist Chris Fox hangs from Wynyard station ceiling, hovering above the escalators that travel underground from York Street. The vast twisting accordion-shaped sculpture reconfigures the heritage escalators that once stood there in a stitched form. Suspended between two ends of the building, Interloop measures more than fifty meters in length, weighs over five tonnes, and weaves in 244 wooden treads and four combs from the original escalators. Whilst paying homage to the past, it also, simultaneously, looks forward to the future.

Artist Chris Fox commented: “Connecting yesterday and tomorrow, ‘Interloop’ interrogates the conceptual and material boundaries between art and architecture. It is a physical re-interpretation of the historic wooden-stepped Wynyard escalators initially built in 1931, that re-purposes the hardwood from the heritage treads of now-retired escalators, into a sculpture weighing over five tonnes.”

Interloop resembles, in part, the original escalators: important for Fox is creating an otherworldly space above people’s heads. The artwork explores the idea that people are stationary on an escalator whilst also traveling, allowing for a moment of pause that occurs mid-motion. The sculpture resonates with people in this state, referencing all those journeys that have passed and are now interlooping back.

A major milestone for Sydney and for Transport for NSW, who commissioned the large-scale sculptural project, Interloop provides an important legacy, helping to maintain and celebrate the historic identity of the city, while also looking to its future.

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